1. Harne-Britner, Sarah MSN, RN, CCRN

Article Content


To describe the development and implementation of a collaborative project between academic and practice settings to enhance the evidence-based practice skills of senior nursing students and practicing nurses.



The CNS has a primary responsibility to be a leader in the effort to promote evidence-based practice. The development of the Research Roundtable project demonstrates the impact of the CNS role in all 3 spheres of influence-patients, nursing staff, and the organization.



Increased emphasis has been placed recently on evidence-based practice so as to provide high-quality cost-effective care. Common barriers cited in the literature to evidence-based practice include lack of time, support, knowledge, resources, and negative perceptions of research (DeBourgh, 2001; Thompson, Bell, & Provost, 1999;).



The CNS led a planning team to develop and implement the Research Roundtable project. Participants included 19 senior baccalaureate nursing students enrolled in a Nursing Research Course, 9 staff nurses, and 8 research facilitators. The facilitators represented advanced practice, nursing administration, quality and nursing faculty. The research focus was medication calculation skills of practicing nurses and senior nursing students. The group met 6 times during the fall 2003 to review the literature on the topic and develop a research proposal. The study was implemented in the spring 2004 and results were presented at the annual Nursing Research Conference.



Staff nurse participants completed the Nurses' Research Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Research (KAP) Survey at the beginning and the end of the project to determine if participation had an impact on skills (Van Mullen et al, 2001). Staff nurses did show statistically significant increases in knowledge and ability in 9 research skills (P < .05). Project evaluations from staff nurses and senior nursing students at the end of the semester were positive and both groups recommended continuing the Research Roundtable project next year.



The Research Roundtable provided a unique opportunity for learning and collaboration between the academic and practice settings. All levels of participants improved evidence-based practice skills. The project provided a win-win for both settings to apply evidence-based practice skills to a pertinent clinical topic.


Implications for Practice

This project showcases the impact of the CNS in all 3 spheres of influence. The research study topic has implications for patient safety and outcomes. Practicing nurses improved evidence-based practice skills. The project established a formal collaborative relationship between the academic and practice settings.


Section Description

This year's annual NACNS conference is planned for Orlando, Fla, March 9-12, 2005. Over 300 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are expected to attend, and as with past conferences, attendees will also include graduate faculty from CNS programs, nurse administrators, and nurse researchers. The theme of the conference, CNS Leadership: Navigating the Healthcare Environment Toward Excellence, was selected to showcase the many ways CNSs acquire and disseminate knowledge and innovative practices in their specialty areas. Two preconference sessions are scheduled. One session, sponsored by NACNS Legislative/Regulatory Committee, targets information for CNSs interested in understanding the legislative/regulatory process as it deals with the practice of nursing, and will also help build skills CNSs need to engage in the process. The second session, sponsored by NACNS Education Committee, focuses on CNS education issues, and as with the education preconferences of past years, anticipates informative dialogue and much sharing among CNS educators around curriculum design, teaching strategies, and indicators of quality in the curriculum that link to the NACNS education standards to program review and excellence. The conference planning committee is proud and pleased to have Jeanette Ives Erickson, MS, RN, CNA, Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nurse Executive of Massachusetts General Hospital as the opening keynote speaker. She will begin the conference by highlighting the importance of CNS practice on patient safety. The planning committee is equally proud and pleased to have NACNS past-president Rhonda Scott, PhD, RN, Chief Nursing Officer of Grady Health System as the closing speaker. Dr Scott will challenge attendees to use the information from the conference to shape quality care delivered in a safe environment and to advance the profession of nursing through direct care to clients, influencing standards of care delivered by other nurses, and influencing the healthcare delivery system to be to support innovative, cost-effective, quality nursing care. A total of 64 abstracts for podium and poster presentations were selected in addition to graduate student posters. The abstracts address the 3 spheres of CNS practice with a strong emphasis on clinical practice improvements. As you will note from the abstracts published in this issue of the journal, specialty practice areas represented in the abstracts include children, adults, and gerontological patient groups; hospital, outpatient, and home care settings, and community health. In addition, a wide variety of specialty topics including smoking cessation programs, end-of-life care issues, and protocols outlining nursing approaches to improved diabetes, cardiovascular and ventilator management. A number of the abstracts described hospital and healthcare system level innovations that resulted from CNS practice. Collectively, these abstracts reflect the breadth, depth, and richness of CNS contributions to the well-being of individuals, families, groups, and communities. The following abstracts are from those presenters who elected to have their work published in the journal so those who are unable to attend this year's conference can share in the knowledge of the conference. As you read each abstract, consider the talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. You may want to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your own ideas about these topics. Watch for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting an abstract for presentation at NACNS's next conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 15-18, 2006.